I Can’t Help But Rant…
So lately, I’m getting a little miffed. That’s because my phone is ringing off the hook, and it’s ringing all day long. On my personal line, on my business line, on my cell phone — and this is all pretty much just people trying to scam you. What I want to talk about today are my three favorite scams. The first one I call “May I whelp you”. The second one is “You’re gonna lose your listing if you don’t pick up the phone right now”, and the third one is “You’ve got mail with money included in it”. Chances are, you’ve had some of these calls, and you’ve had some of these emails.
May I Whelp You…
Let me start out with the first one, it’s called “May I whelp you”. All of a sudden your phone rings. You pick up the phone and you get this call that says “Hello, this is the computer center and we are here to tell you that there’s a problem with your computer and we have figured it out.” And I say, “Oh no, there’s a problem with my computer? What’s wrong?” “It has been affected with a virus and I’m here to help you.” “Really, oh, what company are you with?” “The computer repair center.” “Well what kind of computer?” “Your Microsoft computer, it has a problem, and I’m going to…” “Really, okay, so what’s the problem?” “It has been infected with a virus and I’m here to help you get it off.” I then say, “Oh, well what kind of computer do I have?” “The Microsoft computer.” Then I say “No I don’t, I’ve got a Mac.” “Oh, then let me forward you to the Mac department and we will help you fix that problem.” And I’m going, “Yeah right, uh, bye bye.”
Now I have to admit, there have been times where I’ve been stuck in my car on long drives and I’ve had a great time with these guys. You know, trying to let them do their thing. But in reality, first and foremost, Microsoft is not going to call you. They usually will send you something via your computer that says “Hey, you got a virus” — and of course, if you have Microsoft computers, they’re very prone to viruses. They come in everywhere from browsing the wrong websites, and you probably have had this happen to you, where all of a sudden your computer gets this pop up and stops you from doing everything until you follow their instructions.
What’s happened is they’ve overwritten your browser with a cookie, or you’ve downloaded something from an email, and it overrides your browser with a cookie. What they’re trying to do is get you to install a program to get rid of it, when in reality, what you’re doing is giving them more control over your computer and they’re hacking it even deeper.
So, how do you fix this stuff? Well, the best way to do it is go to another computer, type in whatever you’re seeing, and chances are there’s a YouTube video or websites that talk about how to solve the problem. I can’t get into the specifics, because I don’t have a PC. I used to have a PC, but I haven’t done it in a long time. But I have seen it happen, and it’s even happened on my Mac a few times.
Here’s the bottom line: If you get a phone call from somebody from a foreign country, because it’s really obvious they’re not Joe from Michigan, chances are they’re trying to hack your computer.
How bad can it get? I had a woman call me up one time in tears, and she had spent over $2,000 trying to fix the problem. Yes, they were able to convince her to spend $2,000 to fix it. So yes, this can be a huge problem. Hang up the phone, just don’t talk to these people. If your browser gets hijacked by one of those things saying that you’ve got a virus, you probably do and it’s a good idea to have antivirus, but don’t follow the steps that they tell you. Stop, take a deep breath, go to your iPad, go to your iPhone, go to your Android, whatever, and search out what’s happening. Don’t let them take advantage of you.
Lose Your Listing If You Don’t Pick Up Right Now…
The second call that I get all the time, and I’m sure all of you have gotten this because I’ve gotten it and I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have gotten it, is that if you don’t press one right now, you’re gonna lose your Google listing. First and foremost, Google will never call you. Now, they call me because I manage a bunch of accounts with five or ten thousand dollars a month being spent on Ad Words, and I have a direct line to them, but Google is never going to call you.
So what these people are trying to do is they’re trying to get control of your Google local business listing, and they say that they are going to help you, but really what they’re trying to do is take control of it. It can cost you hours in wasted time and sometimes hundreds, even thousands of dollars to fix the problem because then they want to get control of your website. So now they’ve got control of your Google Local listing, they’ve got control of your website, and they’re trying to take advantage of you to get you to pay a monthly fee to maintain everything.
Bottom line, people: Google business is free. Google Analytics is free and Google will never call you to take control of your website. That is not the business they’re in. They’re in the business of doing Google ads. So when those people call, or you get those, more often than not, they’re automated phone calls, and those automated phone calls say press one now. Don’t press one. And if they say press nine to no longer be called, well then what you’re doing is you’re telling them that they got a real number and they will keep calling back. So just hang up the phone, let it go.
Better yet, there is an app on the iPhone called Truecaller. I don’t know if it’s available for Android. When that app is installed on your phone, it’s gonna show up and say that this particular number is going to be spam, and if it’s spam, it could be even from a local number. What’s happening is overseas providers are getting access to local numbers and making it look like they’re calling from your local area. But luckily, this program has a database, so I can look at my phone and say, “Okay, this is a spam call.” Sometimes they’ll even leave a message and all you hear is, “Press one now to make sure you’re connected to our representative.” That’s all you ever hear. They’re not real people, they’re spam calls.
“You’ve Got Mail!” (With Money In It)…
The last type of thing that I get all the time, and these are a lot of the phone calls that come in, but it also comes in a lot of times in email is “Hey, we’ve got $5,000 to lend you right now! You’ve made $5,000!” Now I’m not talking about the Nigerian Prince ones, where they want you to send information to them. These are predatory lenders that are trying to get control of your money. And chances are, it’s going to be more pricey than it would be to finance your entire business on credit cards. It’s like a payday loan. These people are predatory lenders. Again, when somebody is offering you money, hang up the phone.
I get these emails all the time that say “Hey you’ve qualified for this loan” or it’s a direct email “Hey we’ve got a loan for you” — and these are all spam emails. The bottom line is, nobody’s just gonna hand you money. They don’t know your finances, they know nothing about you. The only way that you’re really gonna get the financing that you need, number one, is run a legitimate business and then go to your bank. I have a line of credit with my bank that I’ve had for years. This line of credit is something that I pay under 9% per month, and I use it when there are times I need to make payroll, I make payroll. If my receivables aren’t coming in fast enough to pay my bills, I’ll take some money out and then when the bills get paid, I pay it back down.
The thing is, if you need money for your business, go to a local, legitimate source that you trust, and don’t get taken advantage of. I’m not saying you can’t use alternative things like your credit cards to finance your business, but just don’t listen to those phone calls or emails. They are not looking out for your best interest.
I would love to hear your stories, thoughts, and comments on this subject. Comment below and share your experiences and suggestions on how reconnecting with old customers, could lead to new business! To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/